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HIGH SPRINGS – A project to replace old water lines in part of the city is slated to begin in the next few days.

“Equipment has already begun to arrive at the staging area, the city's wastewater treatment plant,” said City Manager Ed Booth.

Project costs are estimated to be approximately $825,000. A Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in the amount of $644,000 will help pay for the work.

“The city is matching the grant from our water and sewer enterprise fund with another $125,000,” said Booth.

According to the grant application, the project is anticipated to take 24 months.

“The area being addressed has experienced frequent pipe breaks and water outages,” Booth said.

“Approximately 11,400 linear feet of water lines is expected to be installed by project completion and will include all components, including fire hydrants and shut off valves… a complete installation,” explained Tim Norman of Mittaur & Associates Inc., the city’s engineering firm on this project.

New water meters will also be installed as part of the project.

Although the city hoped the project would begin last fall, it took until this spring to get everything ironed out, explained Booth.

The area being addressed is bound on the north by properties located on Southeast First Avenue, on the south by properties located along portions of Southeast Seventh Avenue and Northwest 178 Place, on the east by residences located on Southeast Douglas Street and on the west by the rear property line of the properties located along U.S. Highways 41 and 27.

In explaining the benefit of the new meters, which are more accurate than many of the older units, Booth said, “This is a real advantage in helping the city curtail water reading costs. We do not have dedicated water meter readers on staff, so personnel are currently being pulled from other crews to read meters. The new meters will allow a person with a handheld device to drive by and automatically read the meters. The new meters are expected to reduce meter reading man hours by as much as 90 percent. Instead of losing those people for a week each month, we will lose them for less than one day.”

Although other parts of the city could benefit from this type of project as well, CDBG grants are designated specifically for properties that meet low and moderate income standards as set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

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